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Automatic Video Ads (With SOUND?) Coming To Your Facebook Feed

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5969497/report-automatic-video-ads-with-sound-coming-to-your-facebook-feed

Report: Automatic Video Ads (With SOUND?) Coming To Your Facebook FeedIf you think the auto-play commercials on sites like ours are annoying, get ready to have it in your face times a billion: Ad Age says video ads are hitting Facebook.

The transition, which AdAge’s anonymous industry sources say will begin in the first half of 2013, will stick video commercials in your browser, tablet, and phone. Annoying, right? But what could be even worse is that there’s no play button:

In what’s sure to be a controversial move, the visual component of the Facebook video ads will start playing automatically — a dynamic known as “autoplay” — according to two of the executives.

This means an ad for Bacardi (if you’re targeted as a drinker) will show up upon your arrival at The Book and start flashing without any intervention—”Facebook is still debating whether to have the audio component of the ads activated automatically as well,” says AdAge. That latter part seems unthinkable, given how universally-despised audio ads are. A total web faux pas. Unlike obscure, opaque image sub-licensing, automatically playing a cereal jingle when you go to Facebook seems like the kind of thing that actually drive people away from using Facebook. At least as regularly.

Yes, Facebook is free. And yes, ads on Facebook are only going to multiply and advance. But that doesn’t mean we can’t challenge auto-play video commercials with spontaneous sound as idiotic and obnoxious. But for now, this is just a rumor—keep your eyes and ears peeled. In the meantime, we’ve reached out to Facebook for comment. [Ad Age]

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Tuesday, December 18th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

The Explosion In Kindle Book Sales (AMZN)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-kindle-books-sold-2012-9

Here’s a very cool chart Amazon flashed at today’s Kindle event. It shows how quickly sales of Kindle books have grown in comparison to physical book sales.

We don’t get any absolute numbers, so we’re missing part of the picture, but it’s pretty safe to assume Amazon sells a lot of physical books. And its e-book sales have blown away physical book sales.

Chart from The Verge’s live blog.

chart of the day, physical books vs kindle books sold, september 2012

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Friday, September 7th, 2012 news No Comments

The Powerful Impact NPR And The New York Times Have On Book Sales

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-the-powerful-impact-npr-and-the-new-york-times-have-on-book-sales-2012-2

Goodreads is a site where people list the books they are reading or would like to read. Check out how much a book’s listings spike after it’s mentioned by NPR or the New York Times

cotd, interest in book spikes following media mentions, feb 27 2012

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Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5885321/how-iphone-apps-steal-your-contact-data-and-why-you-cant-stop-it

How iPhone Apps Steal Your Contact Data and Why You Can't Stop ItThe internet is starting to realize something unsettling: our iPhones send information about the people we know to private servers, often without our permission. Some offending apps are fixing themselves. Some aren’t. But the underlying problem is much bigger.

Apple allows any app to access your address book at any time—it’s built into the iPhone’s core software. The idea is to make using these apps more seamless and magical, in that you won’t have dialog boxes popping up in your face all the time, the way Apple zealously guards your location permissions at an OS level—because fewer clicks mean a more graceful experience, right? Maybe, but the consequence is privacy shivved and consent nullified. Your phone makes decisions about what’s okay to share with a company, whose motivation is, ultimately, making money, without consulting you first.

Once you peel back that pretty skin of your phone and observe the software at work—we used a proxy application called Charles—watching the data that jumps between your phone and a remote server is plain. A little too plain. What can we see?

As Paul Haddad, the developer behind the popular Twitter client TapBot pointed out to me, some of App Store’s shiniest celebrities are among those that beam away your contact list in order to make hooking up with other friends who use the app smoother. From Haddad’s own findings:

Foursquare (Email, Phone Numbers no warning)
Path (Pretty much everything after warning)
Instagram (Email, Phone Numbers, First, Last warning)
Facebook (Email, Phone Numbers, First, Last warning)
Twitter for iOS (Email, Phone Numbers, warning)
Voxer (Email, First, Last, Phone numbers, warning)

Foursquare and Instagram have both recently updated to provide a much clearer warning of what you’re about to share. Which every single app should follow, providing clear warnings before they touch your contacts. But plenty of apps aren’t so generous. “A lot of other popular social networking apps send some data,” says Haddad, “mostly names, emails, phone numbers.” Instapaper, for example, transmits your address book’s email listings when you ask it to “search contacts” to connect with other friends using the app. The app never makes it clear that my data (shown up top) is leaving the phone—and once it’s out of your hands and in Instagram’s, all you can do is trust that it’ll be handled responsibly. You know, like not be stored permanently without your knowledge.

Trust is all we’ve got, and that’s not good. “Once the data is out of your device there’s no way to tell what happens to it,” explains Haddad. Companies might do the decent thing and delete your data immediately. Like Foursquare, which says it doesn’t store your data at all after matching your friends, and never has. Twitter keeps your address book data for 18 months “to make it easy for you and your contacts to discover each other on Twitter after you’ve signed up,” but can delete the data at any time with a link at the bottom of this page. Or a company might do the Path thing, storing that information indefinitely until they’re publicly shamed into doing otherwise. Or worse.

We need a solution, and goodwill on the part of app devs is going to cut it. All the ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS? dialog boxes in the world won’t absolve Apple’s decision to hand out our address books on a pearly platter. iOS is the biggest threat to iOS—and nothing short of a major revision to the way Apple allows apps to run through your contacts should be acceptable. But is that even enough? Maybe not.

Jay Freeman, developer behind the massively popular jailbroken-iPhone program Cydia, doesn’t think Apple’s hand is enough to definitively state who gets your address book, and when:

“Neither Apple nor the application developer is in a good position to decide that ahead of time, and due to this neither Apple’s model of ‘any app can access the address book, no app can access your recent calls’, nor Google’s method of ‘developer claims they need X, take it or leave it’ is sufficient.”

Freeman’s solution? Cydia’s “one-off modifications to the underlying operating system” that we deal in, nicely transfers this control back to the user.” In other words, we can’t trust Apple or the people that make apps—so let’s just trust ourselves to control how iOS works.

Freeman left us with one, final, disquieting note. Shrewd devs and others with the knowhow have been able to dig through app traffic to find out of they’re shoveling around your address book. But there’s no easy way to do this—and if a dev really wants to sneak your data through the door, there’s technically nothing we can do to stop him: “There are tons of complex tricks that can be used to smuggle both information in network traffic and computation itself.” It’s a problem fundamental to computer science—once the data’s in a dev’s hands, he can conjure it away, too small to be noticed by App Store oversight in churning sea of other apps.

Unless Apple keeps him from getting that information in the first place by letting us all make informed decisions with our phone and the private life poured into it. Your move, iOS.

Photo: Motorolka/Shutterstock

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Wednesday, February 15th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Apple’s REAL Earnings Expectations (AAPL)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-apples-real-earnings-expectations-2012-1

Apple consistently releases comically low guidance, then obliterates it. For the last six quarters, Apple has beaten its guided EPS by 38%, and revenue by 16%.

If the trend holds, Apple will report $12.86 in EPS, and $42.9 billion in revenue. That would blow away the Street’s expectation of $10.07 EPS, and $38.76 billion.

chart of the day, apple guidance vs. earnings eps, jan 23 2012

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Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 news No Comments

Sell Your Book in the iBookstore and Apple Won’t Let You Sell It Anywhere Else [IBooks]

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5877736/sell-youre-book-in-the-ibookstore-and-apple-wont-let-you-sell-it-anywhere-else

Sell Your Book in the iBookstore and Apple Won't Let You Sell It Anywhere ElseSelling a book with Apple’s iBook Author program is now a one-way ticket to Apple being the only place you can sell the book. Maybe selling your book on iBooks isn’t such a great deal after all.

Dan Wineman of Venomous Porridge went to publish his first book from within the iBooks Author application when he was met with a curious notice. Once a book is made available for sale in the iBookstore, it can only be sold through that venue.

A quick look at the iBooks Author EULA reconfirms the dialog box’s diabolical message:

(ii) if your Work is provided for a fee (including as part of any subscription-based product or service), you may only distribute the Work through Apple and such distribution is subject to the following limitations and conditions: (a) you will be required to enter into a separate written agreement with Apple (or an Apple affiliate or subsidiary) before any commercial distribution of your Work may take place; and (b) Apple may determine for any reason and in its sole discretion not to select your Work for distribution.

Ugh, the worst part is that you never agree to anything when you install the application. The EULA never appears when you install. Apparently, you implicitly agree to the EULA simply by using the software. If you’ve worked for weeks on a book only to discover you can’t sell it anywhere else once you publish it to the iBookstore, you’re gonna be pissed.

Apple is jumping into the world of publishing here. If you had a deal with Random House to sell your book, you wouldn’t be able to have Penguin Publishing also sell it. These deals, however, are transparent. The restrictions don’t just appear as you prepare to submit your manuscript. Apple is assuming rights over your content in the worst possible way. [Venomous Porridge]


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Thursday, January 19th, 2012 news No Comments

This Is The Only Reason Album Sales Were Up Last Year

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/this-may-be-the-only-reason-the-music-industry-survived-last-year-2012-1


adele

For the first time since 2004, album sales are up, and nearly all the credit goes to Adele. Her sophomore album 21 sold nearly 6 million copies, completely dominating the industry and cheering music execs (for once). But given how dependent the industry was on one artist in 2011, is this news really that promising? Here, a guide:

Album sales were up?
Yes, though only slightly. Sales of complete albums in 2011 reached 330.6 million in the U.S., an increase of 1.3 percent over 2010, according to Nielsen. It’s the first uptick in sales since 2004 and Adele deserves much of the credit: Her 21 moved 5.82 million copies — the best one-year sales count since Usher’s Confessions sold 7.98 million in 2004. Her 2009 debut, 19, enjoyed a corresponding bump, selling nearly a million units in 2011 as well.

How significant is this for the music industry?
A one percent increase isn’t exactly something to write home about, says Ben Sisario at at The New York Times.  “Some businesses might call that level of growth flat.” But considering the past decade’s steady downward slide — revenue from recorded music fell 52 percent over the last 10 years — this is a relief. “For the beleaguered music industry, any positive news about sales is cause for celebration.”

How much did Adele dominate?
She sold 3.3 million more albums the year’s second-hi! ghest se ller, Michael Buble’s Christmas, and 3.7 million more than Lady Gaga’s Born This Way. Adele spent 14 weeks atop the Billboard album charts in 2011, says Devon Maloney at Billboard, and 21 is the first album since 2005 to log 30 weeks of 100,000-plus sales. Her song “Rolling in the Deep” was the year’s best-selling single and the most-played song on the radio. Furthermore, 21 is the best-selling digital album of all time. Taken together, her two albums amounted to 2 percent of total record sales, a nearly unprecedented total for one artist. Without her efforts, says Daniel Kreps at SPIN, record sales would actually be down. So while Adele is being hailed as “the savior of music,” says Tyler Coates at Black Book, “the industry is still tanking.”

What about the digital sales?
Digital music sales rose 8.5 percent, says Coates, while sales of complete digital albums rose 20 percent. Though such boosts seem like a good sign for the industry, digital sales offer the lowest profit margin of all music sales. CD sales, which deliver the greatest profit margin, were, unsurprisingly, down six percent.

This post originally appeared at The Week.

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Sunday, January 8th, 2012 news No Comments

Barnes & Noble looks to sell publishing arm, keeps the other to hold a Nook Tablet

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/04/barnes-and-noble-looks-to-sell-publishing-arm-keeps-the-other-to/

In a sign of ever shifting priorities in the ole book business, Nook’s papa is reportedly looking to sell its publishing unit, Sterling Publishing. According to the Wall Street Journal, B&N acquired Sterling in 2003, ramping up its publishing efforts after more than 30 years in the business. News of a possible sale follows last month’s Q2 earnings report that saw a $6.6 million net loss for the bookseller. That same quarter, the company’s Nook business took an 85 percent leap forward, landing it a $220 million value. Barnes & Noble has yet to comment.

Barnes & Noble looks to sell publishing arm, keeps the other to hold a Nook Tablet originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 04 Jan 2012 19:59:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Thursday, January 5th, 2012 news No Comments

Google Violated Its Own Evil-Free Policies While Promoting Chrome [Google]

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5872566/google-violated-its-own-evil+free-policies-while-promoting-chrome

Google Violated Its Own Evil-Free Policies While Promoting Chrome

The first rule of not being evil is: don’t do things you think are evil. So it’s a shame that Google has violated its own policy by giving bloggers cash in exchanges for writing about its browser, Chrome.

Google, or perhaps more likely its advertising firm Unruly, has managed to sponsor bloggers to chew the fat over Chrome, reports SEO Book. Some of them talk about how great Chrome is for small businesses, and most contain a Google promo video.

Meh, that’s kind of fine, right? Mmm, the thing is, paid-for links to the Chrome download page would be just fine according to Google’s rules — as long as they were tagged up as “nofollow” links. That’s supposed to let PageRank know that a link was paid for so as to exclude it from search rankings.

But, uh, some of the links didn’t follow that guideline.

OK, so this isn’t too bad: it isn’t like Google is culling small kittens, granted. And it could in fact be an innocent mistake on the part of the bloggers. But what it more likely indicates is that Google is getting so large that it can’t help but trip over its own policies. And at that point, it becomes difficult to hold an entire organisation up to its existing ethical codes.

So, don’t be evil. At least, if you can remember what you mean by evil. [SEO Book via TechCrunch; Image: brionv]


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Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012 news No Comments

This Chart Is Driving Apple Bulls Crazy (AAPL)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-apple-pe-2011-12

Apple’s price to earnings ratio is at a relatively paltry 14 right now, and it’s driving Apple bulls crazy.

The chart below, which shows Apple’s shrinking PE, from Apple analyst Andy Zaky has been passed around for the last week. (At the time Apple’s PE was 13.3.)

What’s wrong with this chart?

Zaky explains: “Now even though Apple’s growth has far and outpaced the growth of Oracle (16.35 P/E), Amazon (96.15 P/E), Google (19.19 P/E), Cisco (15.11), Qualcomm Inc. (20.62), Amgen, Inc (13.53), Comcast (15.11 P/E), IBM (13.95 P/E), Chevron (13.50), Johnson & Johnson (14.94 P/E), Procter & Gamble (15.49 P/E), and AT&T (13.91 P/E), the stock trades at a far lower valuation relative to these top holdings on the NASDAQ-100 and S&P 500. Some of these companies have actually contracted in 2011. Yet, the market values the earnings out of these companies on the order of 4-5 times more in some cases than they value the earnings out of Apple.”

Of course, there’s more than one way to value a stock. If you value it based on trailing free cash flow, it’s arguably priced fairly, says our Henry Blodget.

chart of the day, apple quarterly p/e ratio compression, dec. 7 2011

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Wednesday, December 7th, 2011 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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